MASTER: Meet Your Facilitators

Laura Sisterhen, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Section Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine
Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Laura L. Sisterhen is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Section Chief of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). Laura received her medical degree from University of Tennessee at Memphis in 2001. She completed her residency in Pediatrics at UAMS and joined the UAMS faculty in 2004. She received a Master of Public Health degree from UAMS in 2008. Dr. Sisterhen is board certified in Pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academic Pediatric Association. She has been awarded the Dean’s Educational Excellence Award, Best Faculty Teacher on the junior student pediatric clerkship, and the Red Sash Award by popular vote of medical students as an outstanding teacher. In 2013, she was bestowed the distinguished Drs. Joanna and Robert Seibert Award, conferred on a medical staff member who consistently displays teamwork and who has made significant and continuous contributions to excellence in healthcare and to ACH.

Why Dr. Sisterhen thinks this program is important…

When Drs. Shorey and Turnage invited me to participate in the MASTER program, I jumped at the opportunity. This work (mastering advanced skills in healthcare communication) will be fun, rewarding, and meaningful. In all clinical settings, I work toward teaching and modeling family-centered and culturally sensitive communication with families. Family-centered techniques include building on families’ strengths, incorporating the unique perspectives and beliefs of the patient and family into the care plan, and including them in the bedside rounds process. Communication skills help you to create successful relationships. Highly functioning teams have trust and respect for each member. At the bedside, I target teaching to what is clinically relevant while providing quality patient care. While bedside teaching, I focus on clinical reasoning (thinking aloud), communication skills, and performing and interpreting a focused physical exam. It is important to me to maintain a safe learning climate for learners. I may not always be perfect, but I am always trying to provide excellent care, and learning communication techniques helps me do my job which is not always easy!